Umbrella goes bust taking my money with it Umbrella goes bust taking my money with it
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


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    Default Umbrella goes bust taking my money with it

    Hi all,

    I don't want to name names in this thread in case I burn bridges by doing so; but in short:
    • I submit monthly timesheets
    • Umbrella company invoices the client
    • Client pays the invoice in a three or four week turn around
    • I get paid.


    At least that's what should happen.... But in the middle of this cycle I got an email from the Umbrella company saying "unfortunately we have gone into administration". So I have submitted a timesheet, the invoice has been raised and sent to the client and then the umbrella goes bust.

    I reckon the administrator will come after the client for payment of the invoice - and if that is paid, the money will disappear into a black hole and I will receive nothing. If the invoice doesn't get paid, then a debt collector will be engaged, and this will run its course and I still wont get paid.

    So.... Any thoughts? Is there any legal angle for my client NOT to pay the invoice, but to hold off until I get a new Umbrella or set up my Ltd Co.? Not sure if it is relevant, but I have been with the same client for four years, and have never attempted to dodge IR35 so there may be some defense or justification that the invoice relates to me specifically and not to the Umbrella company who are acting as a PAYE admin service.

    Cheers

  2. #2

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    Are you talking about Crystal Umbrella or Atlantic Umbrella?

    If so there is a thread running already if that's any help.
    https://www.contractoruk.com/forums/...gone-bust.html
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  3. #3

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    Dreadful situation but you were "employed" by the umbrella company who supplied your services under their contract with the client, and you supplied your time under that contract for the period up to now. So the client has an obligation to pay the umbrella company and not you (personally or through another company). If the client refuses to pay their debt to the umbrella, the administrator could decide to take legal action against them, and so it seems unlikely that the client would be up for paying you through another umbrella company as they would not clear their debt to the old company.

    As it is administration, there is a chance that the umbrella can still be rescued. Also as your claim is for unpaid wages from the umbrella, you would be a preferential creditor for the first £800 owed to you, so again there is a chance you will get some payout if the umbrella does not have significant secured debts.

    You need to sign up with a new umbrella asap and tell the client/agent that from today you will be supplied by the new one rather than the old one to minimise your losses. Unfortunately (technically) even if no timesheets has been signed off or no invoice has been issued, if you supplied your services to the client up to last Friday the fees are due to the umbrella company.

  4. #4

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    It's hard to see any way out of this unfortunately. The client has a contract with the umbrella and if an invoice has been raised to the client, the liability is with the client to pay the umbrella's invoice and I expect the administrators will be chasing all unpaid invoices. The end client has no obligation to pay you anything I'm afraid.

    Which leaves you as an unpaid creditor of the umbrella. As you're technically an employee of the umbrella I wonder if that might leave you a bit higher up the pecking order of creditors?

  5. #5

    Contractor Among Contractors


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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCyclingProgrammer View Post
    It's hard to see any way out of this unfortunately. The client has a contract with the umbrella and if an invoice has been raised to the client, the liability is with the client to pay the umbrella's invoice and I expect the administrators will be chasing all unpaid invoices. The end client has no obligation to pay you anything I'm afraid.

    Which leaves you as an unpaid creditor of the umbrella. As you're technically an employee of the umbrella I wonder if that might leave you a bit higher up the pecking order of creditors?
    Being an employee leaves you lower down the pecking order.

    Personally I would discuss with client co. See if they can't find a reason for your last invoice not to be paid. Then later on paid to a new limited. Though it seems like a huge reach.

  6. #6

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    So this is Drole Computing Services?

    DROLE COMPUTING SERVICES LIMITED - Filing history (free information from Companies House)

    They got ordered to be wound up back in Sept 2014 by the look of it.

    Don't forget to speak to Lucy and Contractor Umbrella to get yourself a new Umbrella sorted while you sort this mess out.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMirror View Post
    Being an employee leaves you lower down the pecking order.
    Being an employee makes you a preferential creditor - that puts you above shareholders and unsecured creditors, but below secured creditors in the pecking order.

  8. #8

    Fingers like lightning


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    As they've all said - as the invoice was raised it will sit on their books as a debt. There is nothing to stop you signing with a new umbrella and submitting any timesheets for subsequent work, just obviously make sure that the end client / agency doesn't make any further payments to them. If there is anyway of the invoice being credited off (highly unlikely) by the liquidators, then any new umbrella would be able to raise the invoice for payment and backdate to that period as long as it was a recent work period.

    Feel for you all who have got caught up in this mess

  9. #9

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    is it not a chance to go directly to the client and agree on a far better day rate ?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cid View Post
    is it not a chance to go directly to the client and agree on a far better day rate ?
    Why do you think they will be able to command a better day rate? The client won't offer a payroll service which is why they are using an Umbrella. I think I see where you are going with this but very badly executed.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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